Brooklyn >Restaurants >
Seafood >Sel de Mer
374 Graham Ave, Brooklyn, NY | Directions 1121140.715556 -73.944397
Give your neighboring tables Order Envy by choosing the Whole Lobster ... and while you're at it, why not add on a plate of 6 oysters? Other dishes like fish and chips and trout are reliable, perfectly-cooked standbys. Prices hover around $20, and the cozy, romantic ambience is perfect for a date or bestie catch-up.
Ok food, but a wait and service like you won't believe. – Let me start off by saying I loved that we had another alternative in the neighborhood. Overall, their selections were simple and good. That said, it is with much regret that I have to post this review. To say the service is non-existent is an understatement. I've put up with slow service with them before, but my last experience simply takes the cake. Forget that they've had issues with their credit card system every time I've gone there, the fact that we waited 2 hours to receive our orders and another to get the check only to be told the system crapped out again and we'd need to pay cash. Really? No to mention, guys, you need to get a proper AC. Seriously, shades on the windows or something. It's bad enough you make people wait as long as you do (not to mention having no clue that you need to let customers taste the wine rather than popping and pouring, have you guys ever been to a restaurant?), but on top of it all to put them in another level of Dante's inferno (and I do mean inferno and not the cold lake). To sum it up, bummer. It was great to have decent seafood at ok prices, but the service (and I've dealt with crap service in NYC, to some degree , it's to be expected) just ain't there. Guys, please please please get your act together. However, there are basics you should know to be in this business. When there's only 4 covers out and only 30 seats in the entire place, an hour is _unacceptable_ for appetizers. An hour and a half is just ridiculous. 2 hours is insane. It makes you wonder do you simply not like your customers? Some advice, 1. don't force your customers to steam in 90 degree heat, 2. advise your customers if they need to pay cash, 3. get your kitchen in order. 4. I only hope this review saves someone else from this experience.
The Little Seafod House That Could! – My dining buddy, Dave and I, have been loyal fans of this restaurant since it opened. We have been coming in at least two nights per week since late summer.
The quality of the seafood and the accompanying preparations are refined and some of the best to be found in this part of Brooklyn. Its a sweet little restaurant with no pretension but big dreams. It can succeed in being whatever it wishes, but it needs to tackle some of the basics:
-Why give us a cloth napkin (you score points for that) and then put that great salted butter in the breadbasket on a paper napkin? Its an odd service format and that butter belongs on a plate or in a ramekin
-Work with and train your servers to:
-take note and tell you (owner/chef) when your regulars are in (you need to get out of the kitchen a bit more);
-not wear any scent when they're working (our waitress tonight obviously doesn't know that)
-hire another server. I can't see how you can properly take care of a (assumed) full house on the weekends with only one server, and if you intend to introduce wine service, with only one server you are most certainly going to be done for.
With that said, several dishes stand out. Most notable are the bass or snapper with curried vegetables. This evening I enjoyed a special of perfectly grilled mahi-mahi on top of shrimp risotto. Though the risotto was good, but not great, the texture of the fish was ethereal, and the flavors melded perfectly.
My main issue is, and always has been, the portions. They're small. Maybe not little appetite small, but hungry person small. I wish I could say the quality of the cooking obviates the need for a larger portion, but it doesn't. Seafood specials are priced at $15-$16 per entree, and though this is reasonable for quality seafood, the small portions detract from the overall experience. Tonight, my buddy and I started with a salad each, and then an entree each, and left hungry. Not good.
I offer a solution - novel, increase the entree prices by two or three dollars each, and give us larger portions. I think a top entree price of $19 still works for the neighborhood, and it would keep the hungry folk coming back. You're not paying a Manhattan rent, so do it. Do it.
I want to keep loving you, Sel de Mer.
Classic seafood and a homey atmosphere in Williamsburg. – Portraits of grizzled sea captains set the tone for chef Jeff Slagg’s casual Williamsburg restaurant, a modest space devoted to the simple pleasures of the sea. Several variations of mussels (cooked with everything from garlic and shallots to blue cheese and pancetta) comprise the menu, all served with a healthy heaping of French fries. Whole-fish specials are available next to comforting classics like fish and chips and a T-bone steak served with roasted garlic haricots verts. The restaurant, with its rough-hewn bar in back and scuffed hardwood floors, feels almost like a family owned seafood joint from some small seaside town, although blue pressed-tin walls and a hip, tattooed clientele help maintain a Brooklyn vibe.
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